Have you ever questioned your faith?

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Re: Have you ever questioned your faith?

Postby Simplyme » Wed Dec 18, 2013 10:05 am

Mitch being Mitch again....same ole...........
I find it rather amusing, when thought of as ignorant or stupid(though I can be on many subjects). Especially by those who believe in a deity up in heaven watching our every move, and rewarding or punishing us after we have expired.
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Re: Have you ever questioned your faith?

Postby StillSearching » Wed Dec 18, 2013 12:48 pm

1) Were you brought up in a religious household?

Yes. My father is a retired pastor. I grew up in his churches, which were all UCC.

2) Was you raised with no religion and then found God? If so why?

I was raised with plenty of religion and found God as a result.

I'm going to copy Mitch on the last three answers because he put them so well... :D

3) Have you ever questioned your faith?

Yes, constantly -- and it has been frequently changing.

4) What does ‘faith’ mean to you?

Faith is the foundation of human knowledge because absolute proof for things is very rare and certainly insufficient for the living of your life. So faith is living your life despite the fact that you have no proof that the way you are living it is correct. It means making choices about who you are and thus how you will live your life accordingly. Blind faith sticks to things even when the objective evidence is against it. Rational faith adjusts those things believed to be true according to the objective evidence when it is found.

5) How do you know your belief is the truth?

What I believe to be true is what is most consistent with the totality of my experiences. Knowledge is that end of the spectrum of belief where you are certain enough to live your life accordingly. Any other distinction is nothing but hot air and self-importance.[/quote]
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Re: Have you ever questioned your faith?

Postby osFe » Thu Dec 19, 2013 2:18 am

1) Were you brought up in a religious household? No, but I grew up assuming I was Christian because growing up in rural Midwest American that is what was all around me.
2) Were you raised with no religion and then found God? If so why? I lost faith in the Christian God at a young age and flirted with atheism for a few years as a teenager before creating my own set of personal religious believes. As for why, because I was seeking answers to questions that neither organized religion or atheist could answer, so as I developed my personal philosophy to answer the questions it became a bit like a personal religion as well.
3) Have you ever questioned your faith? When I thought I was a Christian, yes. When I thought I was an atheist, yes. Since creating my own personal religion, never. I question my believes whenever new ideas come to me though, and modify as needed.
4) What does ‘faith’ mean to you? This is the definition for faith that Google gave me and it seems to work just fine: complete trust or confidence in someone or something.
5) How do you know your belief is the truth? I don't, that's what makes it so interesting. Though given infinity and eternity, anything is possible.
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Re: Have you ever questioned your faith?

Postby mash » Fri Dec 20, 2013 2:38 am

I just thought I would say that in case any of you were on the edge of your seat waiting for another one of Mitch's gems, he replied to me in private and started to ramble on like a madman where no one else could see how much of a toss pot he was being. On a brighter note, I am really learning quite a lot from this forum so Mitch excluded, thank you all for that. I have thank Mitch personally for providing me with no end of amusement.
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Re: Have you ever questioned your faith?

Postby mitchellmckain » Fri Dec 20, 2013 8:53 am

Here is the PM discussion in full.

Lets try moving this personal off topic conversation here. I have no problem doing this in public but I would prefer not to derail the thread where it started so you can start a new thread for in the General Discussion section if you need the support of a pack of jackals at your back.

mash wrote:If you don't mind though, because I am genuinely interested in the answer to my original question, could you pweese dumb it down us inferior beings?

I may have been raised to think that way in my ultra liberal family but I don't actually believe that people are superior or inferior based on intelligence. However I frankly have to tell you that I have always taught on a college level so there is definitely a limit to my dumbing down capabilities.

My answer to your question was.
mitchellmckain wrote:1. If God wants you to find Him then living in a different country would obviously not be much of an obstacle to Him.
2. There is only one God so yes it would be the same God.
3. Do different people being raised in a different country believe different things about this same God? LOL Yes. People believe different things about the same God even when they are raised in the same house by the same parents in the same church. And this is not because we are talking about God for the same is true if no matter what we are talking about. Siblings believe different things about the same father of them both even when they raised in the same house.

So let's see that means that if a person is born in a different country then the same God will not have a hard time introducing Himself to you if He chooses, although it admittedly may be in a different language and using different cultural aids to do so. That person will certainly not use the same words to describe what he believes and we may very well have disagreements about God, but the conclusion to draw from this is not God does not exist but should know that God is bigger that our understanding of Him and that we should expand our perspective to accommodate the reality that different people will experience and understand Him in very different ways.

mash wrote:Mitch, you started your statement by saying "I said no such thing" which is implication that I accused you of saying something you didn't, hence why I reiterated the fact that I was simply asking you a question. Your hackles were up from that very moment. I admit, you didn't say that God found you, but you still said that he wanted you to find him. Something that would still be impossible if you were born and raised in the UAE.

Incorrect three times. I simply stated a fact and corrected you. My hackles were not raised in the slightest. It most certainly would NOT be impossible to find God in the UAE. It may in fact be easier. I certainly wouldn't choose to live there, but then most people are used to the place where they grow up and would not choose to live in a completely different place like that.

mash wrote:Anyway, I'm perfectly aware that you are going to nit-pick at everything I say on this matter

If you don't like that then I suggest that you don't butt into a discussion with someone else and nitpick answers to their question which have nothing to do with you.

mash wrote:but lets be clear, you are outright accusing me of having a lack of intelligence

Yes that is the conclusion I will always draw concerning someone who equates simple minded answers with clarity. But I will only accuse those who seem to have a habit of accusing the other people they talk to.

mash wrote:What I may lack in ability to express myself in the written word, I make up for in common sense

That is an opinion you have of yourself that other people may not share.

mash wrote:clearly you lack in any kind of street smart

Yes I don't live on the streets and bullshitting people is probably not the tactic that I would choose to use for living on the streets. There are hundreds if not thousands of other environments on this planet to which I am not adapted and would definitely require a period of learning in order live there with any effectiveness. I have my doubts that you are really more able to do this than I am. I can work with the beliefs of other people without telling them that they are stupid for believing differently than I do. I don't think your tactic of dissing their beliefs by asking them what they would have believed if they were born in another country would really work any better for you in most of those places than it did with me.

mash wrote:or any ability to communicate with normal people.

Well "normal" is a very subjective opinion. But if street people is your norm, then ok, I probably also lack any great desire to communicate with them on topics like this.

Let me add that IQ aside, I actually don't really believe that some people are really smarter in any absolute sense than others. I think that people are simply smarter about different things. What you say about street smarts probably has a great deal of truth to it. Academics (people) know a lot about academics (subject) and no they probably don't have the "smarts" to survive on the streets or in a lot of other situations. It takes a lot of very different people to make the world go round.

mash wrote:I think you may have misunderstood me when I talked about street smart, probably my fault as I couldn't think of a better way to express what I was saying. I am by no stretch some kind of hoodie or gangster or nothing close (I'm not saying this is what you have implied), in fact, I was born into what we would call upper middle class in the UK, I went to a school with Lords and Ladies and a load of other toffee nosed plonkers.

My family was hit hard in the recession and I ended up living on the other side of the scale and I spend much of my youth and education in inner city schools in France (hence why my English, although my mother tongue is not as good as I would like, most of my life was spent speaking French). The reason I am telling you this is I feel that with my upbringing I have experienced the social scale from the very top to the very bottom, so I feel that the manner in which you address people on this forum is somewhat akin to the way some of the horrendous elite social class address the working class. I don't intend to ruffle your feathers here, but that is just my opinion.

I was not born into any kind of middle class and never lived in one either -- at least not as far as money is concerned (below the poverty line now and the rest of my life). For example, I never got one dime from my parents for education and I paid my own way completely. But we don't really live in a class society in this country (USA) so I never really thought in such a way. But as far as education goes, my parents got college degrees and I have two masters degrees so I guess am not poor in that sense.

mash wrote: The other reason I have told you all this is maybe in giving you a touch of my background, you maybe slightly less hesitant to judge me based on the way that I write. I would also like to add that I scored in the top two percentile in pretty much every IQ test I have ever taken but of course that is a very easy claim to make and I don't expect you to take me on my word.

I am not sure what you mean by "the way you write", but there is one thing which I consider to be worthy of judgement and that is being judgemental.

mash wrote: I will freely admit that I can sometimes come on a bit strong with my views, I mean to cause no offence because quite frankly, when a Theist tells me that I am wrong, I am not in the slightest bit offended so I guess I don't supress my urge to impart my opinions so strongly. I will be frank with you, one thing that I have always struggled with, is how people with a vast intelligence, a big education and a solid profession such as yourself (I see you are a physics professor) can believe in god. It does not compute with me, If someone is that switched on, how can they possibly believe in something that in my eyes, is so blatantly made up. I understand why people have a religion, I get it, but to me, if you outright refuse to accept that the notion of god as perceived in all and any of the religions worldwide is anything short of absolute fabrication, to me shows a distinct lack of common sense.

Yes and I consider the judgment of things like sanity, morality, rationality AND common sense by ones own subjective opinions to be the very definition of intolerance. We occasionally have Christians on the forum who put forward the absurd opinions that a person is stupid, crazy, immoral or irrational because of they don't see any reason to believe that there is a God, and that is when you will find me on the other side of the discussion pointing out the error of their ways.

mash wrote:When you answer a question that I ask with a statement like "So let's see that means that if a person is born in a different country then the same God will not have a hard time introducing Himself to you if He chooses, although it admittedly may be in a different language and using different cultural aids to do so" That to me is not a real answer because in my eyes that is utter fabrication. You believe that statement to be true but you definitely do not know it to be true.

I am sorry but you make a statement here that you cannot possibly know to be true. Such claims of that sort of psychic power to be able to dictate what people know to be true is one that I definitely consider to be extra-ordinary in the extreme and thus requiring the proof in the most extra-ordinary way. In general we do not have any kind of direct experience of what other people know or do not know. I am afraid that negative claims are also rather extra-ordinary for it is difficult to imagine how someone can directly experience the non-existence of something. Thus I generally avoid statements claiming knowledge of these sorts without providing objective proof because I think it shows a rather extreme sort of foolishness.

mash wrote: You could ask me any question and I could answer with a statement like "Well I know it happened because the Giant Spaghetti Monster came to me one night and told me it did. He also left me a meatball on my pillow to prove it" If you think that sounds ridiculous, then that is how ridiculous some of things you say sound to me.

This however is a statement that fails miserably by the objective rules of logic. A so called experience of a spaghetti monster simply has no relevance whatsoever to the vast majority of questions that people can ask, which is not to say that it wouldn't have any relevance to some question or other.

mash wrote:I do apologise if anything I have said to you, or to others in other posts has caused offense, I do not intend to, I actually quite a nice chap but sometimes as I said, I can come on a little strong and I have a very dry sense of humour, something that I know Americans can struggle with.

You might want to avoid the canned rhetoric on this forum. It is not likely to get you any mileage with the people here. For example, do you imagine that people here haven't already heard the "spaghetti monster argument"? I have heard it and the like more often than most of the tired Christian spiels and I don't consider them to be any more thoughtful or a legitimate argument of anything either. You really need to come to this forum with original material that shows your own investment of time and thought on the matter rather than simply repeating things you have already heard. Now sometimes original thinking does coincidentally converge and that tends to come out when you explore the reasons why they say it.

mash wrote:Well it looks like you have done exactly what I expected. I tried to make this a little more personal and open up a tad in the hope of seeing a little grace, but clearly I was fooling myself.

I brought up the class system as a way of describing how you come across to people. You are basically a self righteous, hateful little man. The very first thread I read on this forum was a really pleasant question by lillyblack and your response was the most bloated, condescending, aggressive load of tosh I have seen in a long time. It took one post for me to suss you out, I would assume the same for the majority on here.

You sent me a private message because you know that if anyone else on this forum saw the absolute bile that you spout to me then they would call you out for the hypocritical, judgmental fraud that you are. Every valid point that is made to you, you pick up on a small, unimportant detail, and focus on that, thus largely avoiding the question or point made. You remind me of a politician. You tell me that you've heard the Giant Spaghetti Monster argument before, so what??? It doesn't make it any less valid, stop prancing around the subject and just answer the fucking question.

The simple fact that there is a poll about whether or not you should be kicked out says it all, you may call them jackals matey, you may think there is some kind of mob mentality here, but that's not it. If you go around looking down your nose at people, telling them they are wrong without really making any sense, personally insulting them and demonstrating absolute self importance you just piss people off. Having two masters degrees does not make you a good person, it seems to have had the opposite effect on you, and quite frankly, I pity your students, they must wonder why they have paid so much money to have a god fearing, arrogant self indulgent fuck wit as a professor.

You talk about intolerance, yes I am intolerant, I'm not racist, homophobic, sexist, ageist or nationalist, but I do not tolerate wankers like yourself who cannot see past there own self worth because they are so high on their academic achievements that nothing not no one could ever tell them they are wrong about anything, because a) they are far to intelligent and b) god tells them so. Give me a fucking break.

I also find it absolutely adorable that you advise me how to behave on this forum because I won't get any mileage with the people here. I shall find that out for myself thank you very much but the irony that the advice comes from the most loathed person on this forum is just wonderful.

The thing I love the most about the fact that I have enough good sense to not believe in god, is that I don't have to put up with people like you on a regular basis. You are so delusional it is laughable and as such, I would not vote to have you kicked out of this forum because frankly, it is too much fun watching you make a twat out of yourself all of the time.

I look forward to either another one of your nonsensical ramblings or no response whatsoever, either one is absolutely fine by me.


I am absolutely fine with you skipping over the pretense of giving a damn about what other people think and just get on with the intolerant hate bashing that you obviously came here for.
Last edited by mitchellmckain on Sun Dec 22, 2013 2:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Have you ever questioned your faith?

Postby mash » Fri Dec 20, 2013 9:43 am

Haha, what a cock!! So predictable. Just so you know mate, I was very tempted to make public this conversation but I thought that would be very disrespectful as it was a private one. So well done you for proving precisely what a massive wanker you are, and yet again for not directly answering any of my perfectly valid, if not mildly irritated points.
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Re: Have you ever questioned your faith?

Postby Keep The Reason » Fri Dec 20, 2013 2:16 pm

mash wrote:Haha, what a cock!! So predictable. Just so you know mate, I was very tempted to make public this conversation but I thought that would be very disrespectful as it was a private one. So well done you for proving precisely what a massive wanker you are, and yet again for not directly answering any of my perfectly valid, if not mildly irritated points.


Mitch does this fairly often. It's almost like an etiquette with him.
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Re: Have you ever questioned your faith?

Postby Simplyme » Fri Dec 20, 2013 2:30 pm

Keep The Reason wrote:
mash wrote:Haha, what a cock!! So predictable. Just so you know mate, I was very tempted to make public this conversation but I thought that would be very disrespectful as it was a private one. So well done you for proving precisely what a massive wanker you are, and yet again for not directly answering any of my perfectly valid, if not mildly irritated points.


Mitch does this fairly often. It's almost like an etiquette with him.


Dare I say it is his "Modus Operandi"
I find it rather amusing, when thought of as ignorant or stupid(though I can be on many subjects). Especially by those who believe in a deity up in heaven watching our every move, and rewarding or punishing us after we have expired.
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Re: Have you ever questioned your faith?

Postby mash » Mon Dec 23, 2013 2:04 am

Keep The Reason wrote:
mash wrote:Haha, what a cock!! So predictable. Just so you know mate, I was very tempted to make public this conversation but I thought that would be very disrespectful as it was a private one. So well done you for proving precisely what a massive wanker you are, and yet again for not directly answering any of my perfectly valid, if not mildly irritated points.


Mitch does this fairly often. It's almost like an etiquette with him.


Well it effectively invalidates any argument he has on behaviour in this forum. I would never lure someone into a private discussion only to then broadcast it for the world to see. Regardless of who is right or wrong that is morally unjust and a massive breach of privacy. You'd have thought a physics professor in his fifties would know better but clearly manners and common courtesy were not a part of either of his two masters degrees. Shame.
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Re: Have you ever questioned your faith?

Postby mitchellmckain » Mon Dec 23, 2013 3:30 am

Well I would never talk about a conversation I wanted private on a public forum. Once someone does that, they forfeit any such consideration of privacy. Once someone starts telling lies about about a private discussion, the only way to deal with that disgusting behavior is to put the discussion on display for everyone to see, so they can read it for themselves, and their lies are exposed for everyone to see what an evil manipulative little monster they really are.
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Re: Have you ever questioned your faith?

Postby mash » Mon Dec 23, 2013 5:09 am

mitchellmckain wrote:Well I would never talk about a conversation I wanted private on a public forum. Once someone does that, they forfeit any such consideration of privacy. Once someone starts telling lies about about a private discussion, the only way to deal with that disgusting behavior is to put the discussion on display for everyone to see, so they can read it for themselves, and their lies are exposed for everyone to see what an evil manipulative little monster they really are.


Again, the most predictable response possible. You are so easy to suss out it is ridiculous. It is moronic to insinuate that because I talked about a conversation, that you are then justified to publish it. You could have just retaliated in kind if you disagree with what I was saying. I did not lie, I just said what I believed to be true, that you were rambling on like a madman so no one could see what a toss pot you were being. This is not a lie, this is me stating my opinion of why you contacted me IN PRIVATE. Last time I checked, we live in a world were we are entitled to freedom of speech, so for you to state that I forfeit my right to privacy based on something I have said is like some kind of tyranny. If you disagree with what I have said about you, then retort. Defend yourself, maybe even request my permission to disclose the content of our conversation, don't just presume that you have the right to become the law.

For the record, I would have agreed to the conversation being published, I cannot see at any point where I will be exposed as an evil, manipulative little monster. If people care to tell me different, then I will listen, as I am open to criticism, and I am perfectly capable of accepting it. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for you. And by the way, calling someone an evil little monster is pretty heavy at best, and downright horrific in reality. That's like comparing me to Hitler. You should be ashamed of yourself for the way you talk to people on this forum, the way you go about getting your point across is lamentable and akin to psychological bullying. But no fear Mitch, sticks and stones and all that, I will not lose a minutes sleep over the opinion of some egotistical buffoon who has to use a forum to make his point because he knows that if he spoke to anyone the way he does in person, they would more than likely have ten bails of crap beaten out of them.
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Re: Have you ever questioned your faith?

Postby Rian » Tue Dec 24, 2013 12:09 am

mash wrote:
Keep The Reason wrote:
mash wrote:Haha, what a cock!! So predictable. Just so you know mate, I was very tempted to make public this conversation but I thought that would be very disrespectful as it was a private one. So well done you for proving precisely what a massive wanker you are, and yet again for not directly answering any of my perfectly valid, if not mildly irritated points.


Mitch does this fairly often. It's almost like an etiquette with him.


Well it effectively invalidates any argument he has on behaviour in this forum. I would never lure someone into a private discussion only to then broadcast it for the world to see. Regardless of who is right or wrong that is morally unjust and a massive breach of privacy. You'd have thought a physics professor in his fifties would know better but clearly manners and common courtesy were not a part of either of his two masters degrees. Shame.
You are the one that first blabbed about the contents of the PM, mash. I don't blame Mitch for posting it to defend himself. At least he attempted to discuss it offline; YOU are the one that made public negative comments about what he posted in PM.

I think that Mitch often way over-reacts, but he also has a lot of good things to say, and IMO there are FAR worse people on the atheist side that get away with murder on a regular basis.

Anyway, welcome to the forum, and just talk with who you want to talk with, and I hope you can have some good discussions here. There are definitely some good people here to talk with.
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Re: Have you ever questioned your faith?

Postby Keep The Reason » Tue Dec 24, 2013 6:06 am

Rian wrote:
mash wrote:I think that Mitch often way over-reacts, but he also has a lot of good things to say, and IMO there are FAR worse people on the atheist side that get away with murder on a regular basis.


Murder?
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Re: Have you ever questioned your faith?

Postby mash » Tue Dec 24, 2013 6:56 am

You are the one that first blabbed about the contents of the PM, mash. I don't blame Mitch for posting it to defend himself. At least he attempted to discuss it offline; YOU are the one that made public negative comments about what he posted in PM.
I think that Mitch often way over-reacts, but he also has a lot of good things to say, and IMO there are FAR worse people on the atheist side that get away with murder on a regular basis.
Anyway, welcome to the forum, and just talk with who you want to talk with, and I hope you can have some good discussions here. There are definitely some good people here to talk with.


Thanks for the welcome Rian, although I can kind of see your point, there seems to be a certain amount of censorship involved if I can't mention the fact that Mitch started the private conversation without it being broadcasted all of a sudden. I did not discuss the content, nor did I quote anything out of context, I simply eluded to the fact that he was being a tosser. Which when you read it, you will see that he clearly was.

You may think that his reasons for going private with the conversation were genuine, but I think otherwise. He thought that he would be able to bully me into his way of thinking because I am new and not quite as articulate as many other members of this forum. Either way I can see the argument for why he was justified in posting the conversation, but what is beyond argument is the fact that not only was he very condescending, he was and has been from the start, very rude and very obnoxious.

It's slightly annoying that you have only focused on what you believe I have done wrong in this situation and ignore the things that Mitch has done wrong. It is also very clear that when Mitch knows that someone has called him up on his ridiculous behaviour, he ignores them under false pretences in order to make himself look like the bigger man, where in reality, he is not even a man in my eyes, just a coward.
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Re: Have you ever questioned your faith?

Postby Keep The Reason » Tue Dec 24, 2013 8:00 am

mash wrote:It's slightly annoying that you have only focused on what you believe I have done wrong in this situation and ignore the things that Mitch has done wrong. It is also very clear that when Mitch knows that someone has called him up on his ridiculous behaviour, he ignores them under false pretences in order to make himself look like the bigger man, where in reality, he is not even a man in my eyes, just a coward.


Yeah, there's a lot of that going around lately.

You know, my feeling on this is that it's a microcosm of our larger culture (USA)-- Christians have been the privleged voice for so long, it's ingrained in many of them to take any pushback in almost a horrified manner.

Atheists simply standing up for themselves are accused of being "angry" and "intolerant" and having "gotten away with murder". We ask for equal time for our voices to be heard, and we're accused of "waging war" on religion. We're accused of witch hunts and zealotry and ferocity... since as we all know, it was atheists who produced the various pogroms and crusades and inquisitions that have stained human history with oceans of innocent blood.

Why, we fight back with words on online forums -- this is utterly no different from rounding up human beings and shoving them alive into ovens, didn't you know that?

So of course your entire private message should be published-- you mentioned it existed after all! How dare you call out a Christian for PMing you in a way that you felt was inappropriate.

Who do you think you are? A Christian or something?
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